Students get shopping spree for college needs

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Some graduating Immokalee seniors are heading to college soon - and many of them are the first in their families to do so.

"I grew up in a migrant family, so college wasn't really in our paths," said Lisa Guerrero, who will study to be a pediatrician at Florida State University. "I've achieved my dream school, and I've been ecstatic ever since. I can't even believe it to this day."

Lisa and 28 other students from Immokalee are heading to college this year, thanks to the Guadalupe Center's Tutor Corps program - which helps them prepare for tests like the ACT and SAT - and ultimately, college.

"We provide them with the opportunity to work as tutors in the after-school program and earn money, and also the opportunity to earn up to $4,000 in scholarship money every year," said Jorge Perez, college coordinator with the Tutor Corps program.

"They really take the time to get your test scores up, and provide you with any educational needs," said student Eric Maldonado.

Guadalupe Center supporters Brynne and Bob Coletti donated $250 Target gift cards for the 29 students in this year's program. The students used them to go on a shopping spree this week, so they could pick up the essential items they'll need on campus: towels, bedding, and school supplies.

Perez said there are currently 124 students attending college thanks to the Tutor Corps program.

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